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How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Published May 21, 2007


A LibriVox recording of How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day, by Arnold Bennett.

Read by Mark F. Smith

"Which of us lives on twenty-four hours a day? And when I say 'lives,' I do not mean exists, nor 'muddles through.'"

Arnold Bennett knew a "rat race" when he saw one. Every day, his fellow white-collar Londoners followed the same old routine. And they routinely decried the sameness in their lives. So Bennett set out to explain how to inject new enthusiasm into living. In this delightful little work, he taught his fellow sufferers how to set time apart for improving their lives. Yes, he assured them, it could be done. Yes, if you want to feel connected with the world, instead of endlessly pacing the treadmill (or, "exceeding your programme", as he called it), you must do so.

For time, as he gleefully notes, is the ultimate democracy. Each of us starts our day with 24 hours to spend. Even a saint gets not a minute more; even the most inveterate time-waster is docked not a second for his wastrel ways. And he can choose today to turn over a new leaf!

Bennett believed that learning to discern cause and effect in the world would give his readers an endless source of enjoyment and satisfaction. Instead of only being able to discuss what they had heard, they could graduate to what they thought... and lift themselves completely from the deadening influence of a day at the office. (Summary by Mark F Smith)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats or languages (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

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Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 1:36:40

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Reviews

Reviewer: Jane Bowman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2016
Subject: Delightful and uplifting
For someone stuck in a boring job in corporate America, it rings as true as it must have done for London clerks when it was first written nearly 100 years ago.
Mark Smith has done a wonderful job reading it, giving it the feeling that being human has not changed at all in the past century.
Reviewer: ListeninginChicago - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 9, 2011
Subject: Kudos for Mark Smith
Mark is an excellent reader. The book was a bit thought provoking - if for no other reason than to emphasize that there is nothing new under the sun. Time management issues are not new to our modern world.

I agree with Tim, the ending was a bit sudden.

The reference to poetry reminded me of a longer chapter that Bennett had written in Literary Taste and How to Form It (which Timothy Ferguson did a very fine job of reading!). I got a lot more out of Literary Taste than I did out of How to Live.
Reviewer: skriabin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2011
Subject: sounds like Adam West of Batman fame
It took me half my commute to place the voice: Adam West from the 1960s Batman. Deep, rich voice with a bit of a condescending and omniscient tone-- perfect for the subject matter. Precisely, Robin!
Reviewer: Timothy Ferguson - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 20, 2011
Subject: Mark Smith really is an excellent reader.
The book is OK, funny in places, but its really Mark who makes it shine.

Is the ending really sudden for anyone else?
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